6:18am

Mon April 28, 2014
Water

High Snowpack Has Frisco Marina Hoping For A Better Boating Season

Although Dillon Reservoir is still frozen and snow covered, marina officials in Frisco are optimistic that things will be a lot rosier than the last few years.

Dillon Reservoir is owned by Denver Water, and provides water for 1.3 million customers along the Front Range in Denver. It’s also a key tourist attraction for the town of Frisco.

Right now, the reservoir is around 82 percent full. In 2013, back to back seasons with little moisture brought the reservoir so low, marina officials had to move its docks nearly seven-tenths of a mile from their normal location to the low water line. Doing that hit the marina’s bottom line in attracting long term slip users said marina manager Phil Hofer.

“[Slip users] during the 2012 summer season said 'Hey I’ll give that a try,' where I have to walk down to the pier and get shuttled to my boat even though it’s on a slip,” Hofer said. “But they weren’t willing to do that two years in a row. So 2013 was greatly impacted in that revenue line item of slips.”

A screenshot from the Frisco Marina webcam on April 25th, 2014.
Credit Frisco, Colorado / http://webcam.townoffrisco.com/marina/friscomarina.jpg

Hofer said financial damage due to the lower than normal reservoir levels in 2012 and 2013 was tempered somewhat by the record number of boat renters and day users on the reservoir.

With a very positive looking snow pack and the abundance of moisture in 2014, Hofner said boaters will not have to take a water taxi to their slips, nor will they have to walk the long dirt road to the docks.

“We know that they’re coming back. We've got new customers. The last days that the weather has been warm and people have been thinking about spring and summer and boating, we have gotten an influx of phone calls,” he said. “So we have not only returning customers that are either coming back to the water, and on top of that we’re gaining new customers that have heard of Dillon Reservoir, they researched it the other years and decided not to go during the drought years, but now that we’re full they want a spot.”

Steve Snyder with Denver Water said the reservoir is so high right now, the agency is letting water pass through it, lowering it in anticipation of a high spring run-off.

“Things can certainly change over the next few weeks,” Snyder said, “but considering the amount of snow that we have up above Dillon Reservoir and the fact that we already have released some water out of there to fill it the rest of the way up, we certainly do plan on filling it this year.”

The last time the reservoir was full enough to release water was 2011.